The Solar System is made up of all the planets, moons, comets, asteroids, minor planets, and dust and gas that orbit our Sun. A new ESO image explores the Large Magellanic Cloud and an area nicknamed the Dragon’s Head Nebula. Located only about 160,000 light-years from us in the constellation of Dorado (The Swordfish), the Large Magellanic Cloud is one of our closest galactic neighbors. NGC 2035 is an HII region, or emission nebula, consisting of clouds of gas that glow due to the energetic radiation given off by young stars.
The filamentary shapes to the left in the image are the not the results of starbirth, but rather stellar death. From looking at this image, it may be difficult to grasp the sheer size of these clouds — they are several hundred light-years across. This image was acquired using the FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph instrument attached to ESO’s Very Large Telescope, which is located at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems program [2]. Messier 104Messier 104, known as the Sombrero Galaxy, is one of the most popular sights in the universe. Ring NebulaThe NASA Hubble Space Telescope captured the sharpest view yet of the most famous of all planetary nebulae: the Ring Nebula (M57). Pillars of CreationThese eerie, dark pillar-like structures are actually columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust that are also incubators for new stars.
2008 November 1 – A Spectre in the Eastern VeilThe Veil Nebula is a large supernova remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star. NGC 2818It may look like a seahorse, but the dark object is actually a pillar of smoky dust about 20 light-years long. Swan NebulaThis photo shows a bubbly ocean of glowing hydrogen, oxygen, and sulphur gas in the extremely massive and luminous molecular nebula Messier 17. NGC 2207 These glowering eyes are the swirling cores of two merging galaxies called NGC 2207 and IC 2163 in Canis Major.
IC 1396IC 1396 is a large nebula in the constellation Cepheus spanning 3 full degrees of winter sky, the same angular distance of six full moons. NGC 7635A cosmic bubble of titanic proportions called the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635), six light years wide, was formed by violent winds blown out by the hot central supergiant star, several hundred thousand times more luminous than our sun The Bubble Nebula A cosmic bubble of titanic proportions called the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635), six light years wide, was formed by violent winds blown out by the hot central supergiant star, several hundred thousand times more luminous than our sun. Comet HyakutakeDiscovered by amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake in January 1996, Comet Hyakutake made a close approach to earth in March 1996.
Stars and stripes in spaceThis composite image combines visible-light, radio and X-ray data for the full shell of the supernova remnant from SN 1006. 2008 October 25 – NGC 602 and BeyondNear the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies 5 million year young star cluster NGC 602. Andromeda galaxyThis image is a Galaxy Evolution Explorer observation of the large galaxy in Andromeda, Messier 31.
Orion Nebula – Hubble 2006 mosaic 18000This file was a candidate in Picture of the Year 2006.
How did scientists determine our location within the Milky Way galaxy—in other words, how do we know that our solar system is in the arm of a spiral galaxy, far from the galaxy’s center?
There is no short answer to this question, because astronomers have followed many lines of evidence to determine the location of the solar system in the Milky Way. The position of the sun in the Milky Way can be further pinned down by measuring the distance to all the stars we can see. In the past 75 years, astronomers have refined this picture, using a variety of techniques of radio, optical, infrared and even x-ray astronomy, to fill in the details: the location of spiral arms, clouds of gas and dust, concentrations of molecules and so on.
The Solar System was born around 4.6 billion years ago when part of a cloud of interstellar gas, which was filled with particles of ice, dust, rock, and other particles, collapsed. Astronomers have now used the power of the ESO’s Very Large Telescope to explore NGC 2035, one of its lesser known regions, in great detail. Astronomers have now used the power of ESO’s Very Large Telescope to explore one of its lesser known regions. It is actively forming new stars in regions that are so bright that some can even be seen from Earth with the naked eye, such as the Tarantula Nebula.

This radiation strips electrons from atoms within the gas, which eventually recombine with other atoms and release light.
It was created by one of the most violent events that can happen in the Universe — a supernova explosion [1]. While Zw II 96 is located about 500 million light-years away, Baby Boom lies 12.3 billion light-years away and appears in images as only a smudge. This photo reveals elongated dark clumps of material embedded in the gas at the edge of the nebula; the dying central star floating in a blue haze of hot gas.
The pillars protrude from the interior wall of a dark molecular cloud like stalagmites from the floor of a cavern. The structure occurs in our neighbouring Large Magellanic Cloud, in a star-forming region near the Tarantula Nebula. This Hubble photograph captures a small region within Messier 17 (M17), a hotbed of star formation.
It offers one of the best opportunities to study how stars are born partly because it is the nearest large star-forming region, but also because the nebula’s energetic stars have blown away obscuring dust clouds.
IC 4406 is probably a hollow cylinder, with its square appearance caused by viewing the cylinder from the side. It could well offer a glimpse of the future that awaits our own Sun in about five billion years NGC 2818 is a beautiful planetary nebula, the gaseous shroud of a dying sun-like star. This image highlights the conspicuous globule IC 1396A – a striking structure sculpted by the radiation of nearby stars. Highly visible even in daylight, the comet put on an amazing visual and photographic spectacle. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments.
The small green box along the bright filament at the top of the image corresponds to the dimensions of the Hubble release image. The Andromeda galaxy is the second massive in the local group of galaxies that includes our Milky Way.
One gets a rough idea of the shape of the Milky Way galaxy by just looking around—a ragged, hazy band of light circles the sky. He found they were distributed in a spherical distribution about 100,000 light-years in diameter, centered on a location in the constellation Sagittarius. The essential modern picture is that our solar system is located on the inner edge of a spiral arm, about 25,000 light-years from the center of the galaxy, which is in the direction of the constellation of Sagittarius. Planets form when smaller amounts of dust and gas clump together because of gravitational forces.Stable stars like the Sun change during their lifetime to form other types of stars, such as red giants, white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes.
These clouds collapsed from some kind of turbulence that caused it to heat up and eventually turn into a star.
The material from the planetary disc went to form the planets and other objects in our Solar System.
This new image shows clouds of gas and dust where hot new stars are being born and are sculpting their surroundings into odd shapes. This new image, taken by ESO’s Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, explores an area called NGC 2035 (right), sometimes nicknamed the Dragon’s Head Nebula. Mixed in with the gas are dark clumps of dust that absorb rather than emit light, creating weaving lanes and dark shapes across the nebula.
These explosions are so bright that they often briefly outshine their entire host galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months. The Large Magellanic Cloud is enormous, but when compared to our own galaxy it is very modest in extent, spanning just 14 000 light-years — about ten times smaller than the Milky Way.
All data collected may also be suitable for scientific purposes, and are made available to astronomers through ESO’s science archive. In this inspirational post, we present beautiful photographs from space explorations: nebulas, comets, stars, planets, etc.
In fact, it is part of the photogenic Sombrero Galaxy, one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies.

The nebula is about a light-year in diameter and is located some 2,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Lyra.
M17, also known as the Omega or Swan Nebula, is located about 5500 light-years away in the Sagittarius constellation. An island universe of about 100 billion stars, 32 million light-years away toward the constellation Pisces, M74 presents a gorgeous face-on view. It could well offer a glimpse of the future that awaits our own Sun in about five billion years.
The filaments are not only tremendously complex, but appear to have less mass than expelled in the original supernova and a higher speed than expected from a free explosion.
But Herschel was not aware of the presence of small particles of interstellar dust, which obscure the light from the most distant stars in the Milky Way. The fate of a star depends upon how much matter it contains.Formation of a starStars form from massive clouds of dust and gas in space. Some of the material forms a solid object, which gets larger as other particles collide with it and stick together. Instead they are giant balls of gas surrounding small rocky cores. The terrestrial and Jovian planets are divided by an asteroid belt orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter. But the image also shows the effects of stellar death — filaments created by a supernova explosion (left). But the image also shows the effects of stellar death — filaments created by a supernova explosion. Hopefully, these beauties will inspire you to create beautiful artwork, Web designs, graphics, wallpaper, illustrations, etc. The dark band of dust that obscures the mid-section of the Sombrero Galaxy in optical light actually glows brightly in infrared light. The image is a mosaic of 10 separate Galaxy Evolution Explorer images taken in September, 2003. That observation indicates that our Milky Way Galaxy is a flattened disk of stars, with us located somewhere near the plane of the disk.
We appeared to be in the center of the cloud because we could see no further in all directions. With a fresh, young, tech savvy generation of staffers and volunteers, we have BIG ideas for the Observatory and this is just the beginning! Eventually, the object gets large enough to attract more dust and ice with its gravitational influence and form Planets.
The Sombrero Galaxy, also known as M104, spans about 50,000 light years across and lies 28 million light years away. To a person tied to a tree in a foggy forest, it looks like the forest stretches equally away in all directions, wherever one is. So even if you dont actually know anyone in the area, please spread the word and remember, we give staring into space a whole new meaning!
For instance, if it were a sphere of stars, we would see its glow all over the sky, not just in a narrow band. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. And if we were above or below the disk plane by a substantial amount, we would not see it split the sky in half—the glow of the Milky Way would be brighter on one side of the sky than on the other. The outward pressure from the expanding hot gases is balanced by the force of the star’s gravity.
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